E-Bike Rebate Proposed for Washington, DC Residents
Lawmakers in Washington, DC are proposing an electric bike rebate for local residents. The bill would offer up to $1,200 or 75% of the cost of an e-bike to make this mode of transit more affordable.
Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto introduced the legislation, called The Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstarting the Environment (E-BIKE) Act of 2023, which would include a rebate of 30% to 75% of the e-bike cost, if it passes. Many residents would qualify for the 30% (or $400, whichever is lower) rebate, with a $500 rebate for purchases of cargo electric bicycles.
The proposal includes a higher rebate of 75% (or $1,200, whichever is lower) of the cost of the bike for residents earning below 80% of the area’s median family income, which is $93,547, according to 2021 estimates from the U.S. Census. At least half of the rebates available are to be reserved for these residents.
“The E-BIKE Act is aimed at reducing cost-barriers that prevent residents from purchasing an electric bike, while supporting small business owners here in DC,” Pinto said in a statement. “As we continue to invest in our protected bike lane network, this legislation is crucial to ensuring as many residents as possible can benefit from this expanded infrastructure.”
Rebates will only be available for e-bikes purchased at bike shops within Washington, DC, according to the proposed legislation. Certified Business Enterprises may also be eligible for a 30% (or $200) rebate on an e-bike or $500 for a cargo model, and each business will be eligible for up to three rebates.
The proposed legislation for Washington, DC models a similar proposed Senate bill from 2021, which would have created a refundable tax credit for 30% (up to $1,500 total) of the cost of eligible e-bikes. The bill was introduced in the Senate and then referred to the Committee on Finance in July 2021 but has not passed. While the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 did include expanded tax credits for electric car purchases, it didn’t include incentives for e-bikes, as The Verge reported.
The bill proposed for Washington, DC would allow for 3,000 rebate vouchers per year. Pinto told WTOP that she hopes the bill is passed and funded by the end of this year.
“Electric bikes are an environmentally friendly way to more easily get around the city,” Pinto said in a statement. “Reductions in traffic congestion and pollution mean we all benefit from getting more residents onto bikes — the rebate program provides an additional opportunity and incentive for residents to make this choice.”